“But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble, you are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.” Psalms 59:16-17 NIV
About 14 years ago, my husband and I bought some property in the foothills of southern Virginia. We were both working full time. Our kids were in middle school and high school. It became our refuge, our shelter, our “safe place in times of trouble”. We weren’t really in “trouble”, but we were stressed, all of us.
We put up red cattle gates at the bottom of the drive (actually rough path when we bought it). After a week of work issues and exhaustion, exams and studies, we were all ready to seek our refuge, our wilderness property. The only structure was an old hunting cabin, no running water, no electricity, no anything, just the OSB building. We roughed it. Cooking on an old camp stove, eating and playing cards by lantern light, hiking the forest and along the creeks, re-discovering God’s marvelous creation, and having wonderful family time.
It was our refuge. My husband’s favorite saying was, “I can’t wait to get back behind the red gates.” It was our peace away from our busy world, our joy away from our normal, and our safe place. It was our temporary, weekend refuge. (We are now retired to this beautiful area!)
But we can’t always get away to an actual refuge. We are a part of the world. We work, we raise our kids, we do our best, but we live in the world. Where can we find true refuge? We find refuge in our God. God loves us and gives us strength. God is our safe place in a broken world. God is our shelter in danger. God is our help and comfort in times of trouble. God is our true refuge.
God’s Spirit lives in us. Our refuge is always with us. We claim His peace when we are stressed or frustrated. We lean on His strength when we can’t do it on our own. We hold onto Him in praise for all He has done for us. We accept His joy in our salvation. We greet each day with anticipation of His presence. God upholds us in His righteous right hand. God is our everlasting refuge.
This week, turn to the Lord, your God. Find your safe place, your refuge, in God’s loving, giving, peaceful, joyful, and amazing presence. Share your troubles and your concerns, your sorrow and your grief, your dreams and your desires. Accept His help and comfort, His love and forgiveness, His peace and guidance. Accept His refuge.
I thank God for each of you! And I thank you for joining me this week as we seek our only true refuge, our God.
Blessings and peace!